Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 16 to 18
- Grade: 11 to 12
A powerful novel of redemption and revenge inspired by a real American Civil War mystery.
For Clayton Monroe, the last hope for refuge is a struggling settlement at the far northwest corner of Vancouver Island. San Josef is his sanctuary from the imagined demons and real enemies who have pursued him for three decades, from the Civil War battlefields of Virginia and across the plains of Kansas to the gold rush gateway of Seattle.
For Anika Frederickson, San Josef is her new home and her dream, a now failing community built on the promises of provincial government officials. The future of her colony, carved from the coastal wilderness by the tenacity of her fellow Danish idealists, is as uncertain as the storms that batter their farms.
A man like Monroe leaves a burning trail behind him, and the autumn winds of 1899 bring a new arrival to Cape Scott, sparking an inevitable challenge to Clayton's safety and Anika's family.
At San Josef, the rainforest and the river will bear witness.
This powerful novel of redemption and revenge was inspired by a real American Civil War mystery.
About the author
Harold Macy is the author of The Four Storey Forest (Poplar Publishing, 2011) and San Josef (Tidewater Books, 2020), and has been published in various literary journals. He has worked for the BC Forest Service Research Branch, been a silviculture contractor for a local forestry company, fought wildfires, had rain in his lunch pail heli-logging up in the mid-coast inlets, and for many years was the forester at the UBC Oyster River Research Farm, where he wrote and delivered online and weekend courses in small-scale forestry and agroforestry. He studied writing with the UBC Mentorship Program, Victoria (BC) School of Writing, Sage Hills (SK), and North Island College.
"Reading Harold Macy's book San Josef was a remarkable education for me. His book places the reader into life as it must have been lived in that remote area in 1898. With the use of resilient and colourful characters plus a compelling descriptive text, Macy's novel takes the reader into a completely different world. The book holds your attention from the beginning — as every good story should.
"From the opening paragraph, the author grabs the reader's interest by resolutely placing you in the location with his words "the conflict (between) the might of the Pacific against the sodden runoff from the forested hills and swamps of this north end of Vancouver Island"."
— The Ormsby Review
"The characters are as complex as a spider’s web, the language poetic and the environment a tangible force. Harold Macy paints a visual and psychological picture in every paragraph." PAULA WILD, author of Return of the Wolf: Conflict & Coexistence
"In Harold Macy’ remarkable novel, Vancouver Island’s wild and beautiful northernmost region is the stage for an intriguing tale. San Josef does what novels do best—brings us in close to witness an unfolding drama (both personal and communal) that we can believe in. As in many of the best stories, much is at stake here for both the main characters and their community. At the same time, much is to be enjoyed by the reader." JACK HODGINS, CM
"Reading Harold Macy’s book San Josef was a remarkable education for me. His book places the reader into life as it must have been lived in that remote area in 1898. With the use of resilient and colourful characters plus a compelling descriptive text, Macy’s novel takes the reader into a completely different world. The book holds your attention from the beginning — as every good story should." VALERIE GREEN, The British Columbia Review.